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Business Briefs

For Saturday, July 30, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

LAST UPDATED: 2:26 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Honolulu gas price average tops $4 a gallon

The average price of regular unleaded gasoline climbed this week to more than $4 a gallon again in Honolulu, after rising statewide over the last month. Friday's average price of $4.01 a gallon in Honolulu is about a penny more than Thursday, 4 cents higher than last week and 6 cents higher than last month. Gas prices in Honolulu are about 63 cents higher than last year but still far below the record of $4.48 cents a gallon set May 6.

The statewide average price of regular gas is about $4.12 a gallon, up 2 cents from Thursday and 7 cents higher than last month. The national average for unleaded gasoline rose 0.4 cents overnight to $3.71 a gallon on Friday, according to AAA.

AAAAA Rent-A-Space gets solar system

AAAAA Rent-A-Space on Maui has begun installing a 600-kilowatt photovoltaic system on its storage facility that will allow it to generate its own electricity and sell the excess to Maui Electric Co. under the state's new feed-in tariff program.

The system will produce an estimated 2,880 kilowatt-hours of electricity a day, or enough energy to supply 220 homes, AAAAA Rent-A-Space said Friday in a news release. Haleakala Solar is installing the system and expects to have it completed by September.

AAAAA Rent-A-Space will use some of the electricity generated by the system for its storage facility and sell some of it to tenants at its adjoining retail center. Any unused electricity will be sold to MECO for 23.8 cents a kilowatt-hour under the feed-in tariff program. The project is the largest to date on Maui done under the FIT program launched last fall.

Hawaii floral, nursery sales again wilt

Hawaii farmers growing flowers and nursery plants saw sales droop again last year for a third consecutive annual decline.

Industry sales totaled $75.6 million last year, down from $76.8 million the year before, according to a report from the Hawaii field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Sales last year were the lowest in more than a decade. The recent peak was $108.7 million in 2007.

The report said generally dry weather and volcanic haze hurt the industry, along with a lackluster economic recovery.

China Air expands Japan-Oahu service

China Airlines will boost charter service between Narita and Honolulu to seven days a week from five beginning in mid-August, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Excluding charter flights, HTA said 147,972 scheduled seats are expected to come to Hawaii from Japan in August. Japan Airlines has three flights from Narita and one each from Haneda, Osaka and Nagoya. ANA has one each from Narita and Haneda. Hawaiian has one each from Haneda and Osaka. United has one from Narita, and Delta has three from Narita, one from Osaka and one from Nagoya.

Honolulu company wins $7.5M Navy pact

The Navy has awarded a $7.5 million contract to a Honolulu architecture and engineering firm for work at U.S. government facilities in Hawaii, Guam and Japan.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific said Thursday it awarded the contract to Design Partners Inc.

The contract covers cost estimates, concept development and other related services. The work is expected to be finished in 2014. The command received 15 bids for the contract via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website.

Hawaii Health Systems finalizes data pact

Hawaii Health Systems Corp. has finalized a $28.7 million contract to implement an electronic medical records system across the state.

The public hospital system announced Thursday that Siemens Healthcare was selected after a yearlong process of evaluating many qualified vendors.

Hospital officials say an electronic records system is to help medical professionals rapidly and securely consult a complete record of health history for patients at state hospitals on Oahu and the neighbor islands.

The system will begin with Maui Memorial Medical Center and is expected to be in place by November 2012. Hawaii Health Systems is made up of 12 public hospitals and two nonprofit affiliate providers.

ANA losses grow as disaster crimps travel

TOKYO » ANA Group, Japan's largest airline, reported an $108 million quarterly loss as travel declined after the earthquake in northeastern Japan.

All Nippon Airways said Friday that rising crude oil prices, which push up jet fuel costs, are also a challenge.

Consumer sentiment remains weak in Japan since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated the country's northeast, dampening demand for travel.

The number of passengers on ANA's Japan routes plunged 14.7 percent to 8.2 million during the quarter, offsetting the better results for passengers for its international flights, which rose 4 percent on year.


The Gas Co. has named Nathan C. Nelson as the company's vice president, general counsel and secretary. He is responsible for regulatory and legal affairs and reports to the TGC's president and chief executive officer for fiduciary obligations. Nelson previously served as the company's interim general counsel while associated with Carlsmith Ball.


New York Life Insurance Co. has announced the following: 

» Dan Noia as agent. He was previously a teacher at Wai­anae High School for five years.

» Kaila Tolentino as agent. She was previously a sales associate and customer assistant at Sears for six years.

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